Client - Primark


Long term energy reduction governance leading to energy intensity reduction of 11%

Client Requirements

Primark is a successful international £5 billion turnover company and part of the ABF Group (Associated British Foods) which is listed on the FTSE 100. Primark operates in over 11 different countries including Europe and the USA with 340 stores and employing 68,000 staff. Primark offers a diverse range of products including fashion clothing, home-wear, accessories, beauty products and confectionary. Primark’s success has been in the contribution to the contemporary fashion trend at low prices.

Owing to the successful growth in the number of stores and operating countries Primark’s energy consumption was growing. Primark wished to form an Energy Reduction Group (ERG) to oversee and direct a long term and sustained energy reduction programme across all of its stores and locations.

Primark sought a consultancy who could provide energy governance and support the work of the ERG.


BSSEC were appointed and provided energy governance to Primark’s ERG which included engaging with stakeholders such as the Carbon Trust, NIFES, DforE, Store Development, Facilities Management teams and MITIE.

An energy reduction group was formally established to support the works of Primark’s internal and external teams and an overall policy established along with a governance framework to achieve energy saving results.

ERG meetings are held on a quarterly basis with monthly meetings held of technical and implementation sub committees.

A series of audits and trials for a representative sample of the UK estate were implemented. In these trials an understanding energy end use, organizational, technical and behavioral energy reduction opportunities were established. Energy saving measures were identified and implemented in these trial stores and actual energy savings were measured and verified. In doing so successes and failures were documented and understood.

An estate wide business case was developed to implement organisational procedures, technical energy saving measures and behavior change training. This was presented to the board and investment secured to roll out energy savings across the estate. An implementation phase followed where measures were prioritized and implemented on a rolling programme with actual results being tracked.

A process of ongoing monitoring and targeting was established to verify and maintain energy savings. This process also controls and guides on-going campaigns to reduce energy consumption.

Technologies implemented include BMS system re-commissioning, lighting efficiency measures, lighting control, variable speed drives and ERICC (Energy Reduction Information and Control Console).

The Programme is ongoing and takes place in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and USA across all stores.

The programme was unique and challenging in that it was required to operate in a complex environment on continual store and trading changes with rapid expansion into new territories.


In overall terms Primark’s energy intensity has reduced by 11% despite store growth, longer trading hours and increased energy consuming equipment being provided in stores such as visual merchandising.

BSSEC’s specific achievements include:

  • Governance process development and implementation.
  • Obtaining the Carbon Trust Standard – recognising energy reduction over 2 audit cycles.
  • Energy audits and training in 11 different regions.
  • Development of store operating procedures and training in different regions.
  • Legal guidance and compliance across different regions.
  • ISO50001 gap assessments and feasibility work.

“The increase in the number of stores and therefore sales area has resulted in a 21% increase in energy consumption over the last 3 years. However, through energy-efficiecny projects the energy intensity (kWh/sqft) has reduced by 11% since 2015”

2016 ABF Corporate Responsibility Report

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